Barrel in: Queens brewer opens new spot in Sunset Park

Photo via Industry City


Big Alice is getting bigger!

A Queens brewery has opened its new taproom in the borough of Kings, where the people are! The co-founder of Big Alice Brewing said that its new Industry City location, which opened on March 1, has attracted a whole new crew for its brew.

“It’s a different crowd mix for us,” said Kyle Hurst. “There’s a lot of families who live in Sunset Park, and people who just happen to stumble upon us.”

The original brewery is hidden in an industrial Queens neighborhood, where its only visitors were dedicated craft beer fans specifically seeking out the brewhouse, he said.

“We’re in such a desolate location,” said Hurst. “If they come to Long Island City, they are there for craft beers.”

Go ask Alice: Kyle Hurst, the co-founder of Big Alice Brewing, said that the Industry City site allows the brewery to appeal to a whole new crowd. (Photo via Big Alice Brewing)

The bright new space, dubbed the Big Alice Barrel Room, has about three times the footage of the tiny brewing spot in Queens. Much of the floorspace is give over to the namesake wooden barrels, where various beers spend a few weeks to a few months soaking up the flavors of the wood, and of the barrel’s previous occupants. The new spot has given the brewers the space and opportunity to experiment with new combinations, said Hurst.

“Different barrels impart different flavors,” he noted. “Whatever was in the barrels previously, you’ll get those characteristics. We’ve done some work with Islay Scotch barrels, and you get a smoky, peaty flavor.”

All the beer is still brewed in Big Alice’s Queens location, then transported in tanks to Sunset Park to be stored in the barrel room.

For visitors, the Barrel Room has 16 taps pouring Big Alice beers and a few guest ciders, along with bottles and cans. A stage against the interior wall will soon hold trivia contests, musical acts and other entertainment, said Hurst.

Big Alice Brewing Barrel Room (52 34th St. between Second and Third avenues in Sunset Park, www.bigalicebrewing.com). Open Mon–Thu, 11 am–10 pm; Fri–Sat, 11 am–11 pm; Sun, 11 am–8 pm.

Over a barrel: The Big Alice Barrel Room has beer aging inside of barrels that formerly held white wine, bourbon, or Scotch. (Photo by Bill Roundy)

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